Lawyers for former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary have a requested that proceedings in the court’s second case be paused pending a decision on an intended appeal to the Supreme Court Chamber.
The appeal relates to a recent decision on a 1996 royal pardon and amnesty granted to Ieng Sary. In 1979, Ieng Sary was convicted in absentia of genocide and crimes against humanity by the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal.
He was later granted a royal pardon by King Norodom Sihanouk and amnesty from prosecution under a 1994 law that outlawed the Khmer Rouge, in exchange for his and his troops’ defect-ion to the government.
The Trial Chamber ruled on Thursday that the pardon and amnesty did not exempt Ieng Sary from prosecution in the court’s second case.
Ieng Sary’s lawyers have claimed that both are valid and that he cannot stand trial for crimes for which he has already been tried.
In a document released by the court yesterday, Ieng Sary’s defence team requested that the Trial Chamber stay the commencement of case 002 until the issue was fully resolved.
“Any continuation of the proceedings prior to the final determination by the Supreme Court Chamber of these issues will violate Mr Ieng Sary’s fair-trial rights,” the motion read.
It said the defence team had until December 5 to file the appeal.
Last week, the Trial Chamber denied a request from the defence team for former KR “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea to stay proceedings in case 002, pending decisions on complaints alleging unfair investigations into the case.
Ieng Sary is one of four remaining senior leaders of the Democratic Kampuchea regime set to stand trial for genocide, crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. Opening statements in the case are scheduled to commence on November 21.
Ieng Sary’s defence team has also requested a stay of the Trial Chamber’s recent decision to hear charges of crimes against humanity in Case 002.
Defence teams have previously argued that their clients cannot be charged with crimes against humanity because the charge exists only during international armed conflicts, which they denied the Democratic Kampuchea regime constituted.